The Life and Fate of Franz Kafka

The Life and Fate of Franz Kafka

One of the key figures of world literature of the XX century is rightly considered the Austrian writer Franz Kafka. The name of Franz Kafka, along with the names of James Joyce, Marcel Proust, is called among the creators of the modernist novel. Kafka’s personality, destiny and creativity attract the attention of not only literary critics, but also philosophers, and also writers who made him the center of his artistic world, such as, for example, Nobel Prize in literature E. Kanetti and T. Ruzhevich.

In the formation of the writer’s personality, a decisive role was played by an unfavorable combination of many factors. Franz Kafka was born July 3, 1883 in Prague in the family of a petty bourgeois. Relations with the father did not work out. My father was an extremely rude person, he applied rather strict measures of upbringing, he oppressed the whole family.

Franz grew weak and incapable of active protest. His disagreement with his father’s despotism was of an internal flight and was reduced to the fact that he was not interested in his father’s affairs and was trying to achieve self-expression in writing, which his father did not approve of.

It is necessary to think that relations in the family predetermined Kafka’s relations with the world and in many ways his fate. The main feeling he took from childhood and adolescence is a deep fear, entrenched in the subconscious. The source of this fear was not very clear to him, because

he worshiped his father, represented him almost as the creator of this world and, referring to him, invariably wrote the word “Father” with a capital letter.

This perception of fatherly tyranny was due to the personality of Kafka himself, a man of weak character, endowed with a painful imagination. From relations with his father Kafka made a number of complexes and beliefs, which he outlined in the “Letter to the Father.”

First, he believed that the world was built on the opposition of a crude, unreasonable force and weakness, incapable of resistance and focused only on self-analysis. Secondly, “he lost faith in himself, but gained a sense of guilt.” Insecurity in itself led to the fact that Kafka felt like a loser in life. And, finally, the last – despair and suffering were realized by him as his only destiny.

“How much I remember myself,” he wrote, “I had so many worries aimed at one thing: to assert my spiritual self, that everything else was of no importance to me.” There was a sharp boundary between the outer and inner worlds of Kafka. All his failures in life Kafka called “traps.”

Kafka was “trapped” in yet another sense: he was a German Jewish German by birth, after the Austrian-Hungarian Empire ceased to exist in 1918, he turned out to be a man without a homeland. Thus, Franz Kafka, with his weak character, fears and sensitivity, felt himself one-on-one with the universal “trap,” the victim and toy of big and small forces unceremoniously breaking into his existence. Milena Esenskaya, the woman Kafka loved, wrote: “For him, life is something other than for all other people: money, a currency exchange office, a stock exchange – for him things are absolutely mysterious.” He is “naked” among the dressed “.

In the situation of constant “traps” for Kafka, writing was of exceptional importance: it was a means of realizing his real “I”, his fears, his longing. He wrote three novels: “America”, “The Process”, “The Castle”, short stories, the most important of which are “The Verdict,” “Transformation,” and many stories.

The study did not interest Kafka, although he was a doctor of law. Having contracted tuberculosis, in 1922 he left the service in an insurance company, and in 1924 died.

Kafka is a writer, created by his biography. If he had not had such a biography, it would have to be invented. Ernest Hemingway, who “built” for himself, invented and, inventing, invented: he hunted, swam, fought. Kafka, however, has never played any role: it is difficult to find a man more artless than he… In Kafka’s life, there is no grain of adventure. His life is only from the outside, and inside is full of “adventures of the soul” …


The Life and Fate of Franz Kafka